We are Macmillan. Cancer Support
Keep up to date with Macmillan's campaigns, current issues, and how we’re working with government to improve outcomes for people affected by cancer.
You may have
seen the story splashed
all over the news this week about the rising number of older people
predicted to be living with cancer in 30 years time. Our research shows that
the number will triple from 1.3 million in 2010 to a staggering 4.1 million in
incredibly worrying because we know that older people with cancer are not
getting the best treatment for their cancer. And if that is happening now, the future
We hear from patients,
their friends, family and clinicians who say that some older people are not getting
offered the right treatment (e.g. chemotherapy) due to age-based assumptions
made about how well they will cope.
mean that potentially lifesaving treatment is not even considered in the same way
it is for a younger person.
There are also issues with access. Transport
difficulties and lack of support with caring responsibilities can result in
people not being able to get to treatment.
This is why we
are campaigning for treatment and care based on physical fitness rather than
age and for older people to be given the practical help they need so they don’t
miss out on treatment and get the right support at home.
Read more about
Old Excuse campaign and sign
up to campaign with us to make sure that older people get the care they
need and deserve.
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Hello. I very much appreciated the publication of that paper but rather than being 'incredibliy worried' I'd like to see some rather more positive engagement from ALL the cancer voluntary sector with cancer as a disease of ageing.
Whilst fashion continues to target breast cancer, as an example, older women, never fashion's preferred demographic, will lose, lose and lose again. The cancer voluntary sector must wake up to how their PR can be part of the problem of ageism in cancer care. If 'old people and cancer' stories are difficult to get into the media, and they are, work out how to change this. If you don't, nothing will improve. Hand wringing from the sidelines is a feeble contribution. Get RADICALISED!
Macmillan are starting - you show the only evidence of an interest in old age I have see in the sector and I salute you.
You are eliding 'survivorship' and treatment for a current cancer, which are two different issues that will manifest in old age but, as a whole, I agree they are the issues to be addressed. We know access to treatment can be a problem but what about elsewhere - access to rehab. services, or pain management? My prejudice says there's not quite so much face time with senior doctors for older men and women as there might be for someone of 40. Whose assessing that? The recent Patent Experience Survey managed to miss a whole chunk of old people. A third of cancers diagnosed are in the over 75's but the survey only got just over a fifth of their respondents in that group. Older people as surveyed seemed reasonably content but maybe the missing 10% were the older old (over 85s) who may be discontent, distressed and discriminated against, and unable to respond.
Work with other charities too - The British Heart Foundation for example, or the Stroke Association. The cancer charity sector must rein in their condition specific silo-thinking for older people. Older people have co-morbidities. Some have lots of them. Their cancer is complicated, not 'simply' old.
Hi Mrs Trellis,
Thank you for your comments and ideas
We’re doing a lot of work at the
moment with Age UK and the Department of Health – to explore where the gaps are
in older people and cancer care and pilot services with joined-up thinking and
tailored care for older people.You can find out more about that work here.
On the right hand column of that page
you’ll also find links to short films on our pilot projects and the impact
As you have said, it’s really
important to be working with other charities so that there is a coordinated
approach to care. Macmillan are a member of the Richmond
Group of Charities which works together to ensure that happens
in the health sector.
It’s great to have passionate people
like you behind the campaign so I hope you’ll keep an eye on our Age Old Excuse campaign as we’re planning
some bigger campaign activity later this year – and we’ll need advocates like
you on our side.
If you have any questions about our organisation our Macmillan team would love to hear from you
You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or YouTube.
© Macmillan Cancer Support 2010
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